Daily Archives: December 16, 2019

Child’s Play 3 (1991)

*. In my notes on Child’s Play 2 I mentioned how I’d completely forgotten it after seeing it when it came out. I’d almost forgotten all of Child’s Play 3 but I had a vague recollection of the cadets and I also remembered the opening credit sequence. I think those credits, with a new Chucky being born out of the vat of plastic his blood had spilled into, are the best part of Child’s Play 3.
*. The credits also make it clear that, for all intents and purposes, Chucky is now immortal. It doesn’t matter what you do to his heart. So long as there is some material atom for his evil soul to bond with, he’ll be back.
*. As with the previous movie the satire of corporate cynicism is dealt with in a quick prologue that catches us up to speed. Despite the bad publicity engendered by the events of the first two movies, the CEO of Play Pals wants to get the Good Guys dolls back to market. After all, “What are children but consumer trainees?” I think screenwriter Don Macini originally wanted to do more of this, but somehow it never developed as much of a theme in the series.
*. You won’t find a lot of love for Child’s Play 3 out there. It was released only 9 months after Child’s Play 2, and Mancini felt rushed on the screenplay. Both he and Brad Dourif claim it’s their least favourite Chucky movie, and that’s an opinion shared by a lot of critics and audiences in general. The box office fell off and it would be another seven years before the next instalment, Bride of Chucky.
*. I can understand where some of this is coming from. It’s a mess of a film in terms of both plot and tone. The pieces don’t all fit together, starting with the question of what a kid as young as Tyler is doing at boot camp. The finale set in a haunted house ride at an amusement park is a cliché that feels stuck on to the rest of the story. It’s hard to figure out how Chucky is getting around as much as he does. I’ll grant all of this. But still.
*. But still I kind of like this movie. I think I even enjoy it more than 2. At least it’s something a bit different. I like the military academy setting, as it gives us some more interesting victims than are usually found in such fare. I mean, Andy could have just turned into a troubled youth hanging out with the wrong crowd, leading to another dead teenager movie. We also get a couple of somwewhat interesting kills, like the garbage truck and, best of all, the commanding officer having a heart attack. Even Chucky has trouble believing that.
*. So it’s not all bad. Justin Whalin is actually really good as Andy. It was fun seeing Andrew Robinson again. Chucky, who remains underwritten (or poorly written), at least gets to deliver some better lines. Some of the elements, most notably the coitus interruptus of Chucky’s attempts to exchange souls, are definitely feeling old but I’d write that off to either Mancini being out of ideas or the studio not wanting to mess with the formula. To be sure this is a movie that misses more than it hits, but the series was a long way from being played out yet.